Regional Building and Construction Trades Council leaders took part in an August community roundtable discussion to learn more about investment opportunities that spur more union construction projects.
The event, called the Community Development Roundtable, was sponsored by the AFL Housing Investment Trust and the ERECT Fund.
Leaders, including Dorsey Hager, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer, gathered to discuss way to leverage the investment arm of various Building Trades affiliates and how they function. During the event, attendees discussed how union investments can spur development and ensure qualified and skilled tradesmen build these projects.
They also learned how these investments work to help create jobs for union members.
The AFL Housing Investment Trust, the ERECT Fund and other funds offer low interest debt and/or equity investment options in construction projects.
These debt/equity investments typically provide better deals for the developer than market standards, while at the same time, provide stable returns for the fund investors.
In return for a better financing deal, the project owner agrees to utilize a Project Labor Agreement, ensuring all work is performed by union tradesmen and tradeswomen.
This helps create a cycle where union members are investing in the work completed by fellow union members.
Hager said the roundtable was a good event, where he learned more about the debt/equity investments and how they can be implemented.
“I learned a lot about the services the AFL-CIO Housing and Building Trust provide,” said Hager. “I would like to partner with them much the way Cleveland has to aid in economic development, provide good paying construction jobs for union members in the community and build affordable housing.”